Futurenatural?: A future of science through the lens of wisdom

Heythrop Journal 40 (1):41–59 (1999)
Abstract
This paper offers a theological critique of the future of ‘nature’ as suggested by New Biology, including recent developments in genetic engineering. It explores the biblical basis for grounding a theology of creation in the wisdom motif. The relationship between wisdom and creation in the Old Testament is discussed. The link between wisdom, Christ and the Holy Spirit is suggestive of wisdom's involvement in re‐creation as well as initial creation. An argument is put forward for a Trinitarian basis for wisdom. The relationship between wisdom and apocalyptic literature gives a clue as to how wisdom might contribute to theological reflection on the future. Wisdom as metaphor is used to construct a new future of science. By reformulating the future of creation in the light of wisdom a future of science comes into view that meets the postmodern requirement for adaptability and diversity, but without forgetting the idea of distinction between humanity and the natural world. The long tradition of wisdom brings both a rootedness in historical perspectives and dynamic flexibility that serves to inform the relationship between God and the natural world. A measure of stability is a requirement in shaping perspectives for the future, particularly if the ambivalence and anxiety associated with new explorations in science are to be met
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